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Feb 24, 2010 11:07 AM

Planning a baby shower menu - can you make a Spanish tortilla the night before?

Hi folks,

I'm hosting a baby shower for a good friend, and am getting carried away with the menu. I would like your input on my plans...There will be 16-20 guests milling about our living and dining rooms for an early afternoon event (12:30 pm). Thus far I'm thinking:

olives, ham, cheeses etc
garlic shrimp w/baguette slices
crab-stuffed piquillo peppers
Spanish tortilla (just the potato and garlic)
paella (the stovetop, Argentine version)
flan for dessert (mom-to-be has gestational diabetes, so cake seemed like a bad idea)

I've made most of these recipes before, but not all at once for a party. I think the shrimp should be prepared last-minute, was planning to cook it in a cast-iron skillet and bring it to the table that way. Or should I skip the shrimp altogether since this is not a sit-down-at-the-table event?

Can I make the tortilla the night before and chill it in the fridge? Should I try to re-warm it, or is it OK at room temperature?

Can I mix the filling for the peppers the night before, stuff them early in the am, then bake at last minute?

I'll make the flan a day ahead, of course...any other suggestions for pre-cooking or organizing?


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  1. Sure, you can make tortilla the night before. I highly recommend this recipe, which gives good step-by-step instructions. (I don't think tortilla traditionally contains garlic, by the way. You might want to add quite a bit more salt than the recipe calls for. Take care not to have the pan TOO hot when pouring in the eggs, or they'll over-brown). I think tortilla tastes best slightly warmed, so wrap it in foil and take it out of the fridge in the morning to bring it up to room temperature.

    Once you take your peppers out of the oven, turn the heat off, and put the tortilla in the oven to warm up slightly.

    I don't see why you couldn't do the peppers exactly as you outlined. You could probably even fill them the night before. Since you plan on using a cast-iron pan, maybe you could even cook the shrimp in the oven along with the peppers. Just keep an eye on them.

    As for pre-organizing, it helps to lay out all the serving dishes, cutlery, napkins, glasses, serving utensils, etc. you plan on using ahead of time. The less you have to do at the last minute, the better. This also helps with figuring out whether you're missing something (e.g., toothpicks, napkins, etc


    Not to add to your getting "carried away," but this red mojo sauce is great with tapas and very tasty on tortilla:

    Good luck! Let us know how it goes. :)

    1 Reply
    1. re: ChristinaMason

      Oops, my bad - I had garlic on the brain, but it's not in the tortilla recipe :-) Thanks for the suggestions, and for the link the the sauce recipe. I wanted to have something with the tortilla but was avoiding homemade mayo b/c new mom can't have undercooked eggs. So the red mojo would be great!

      1. re: ChristinaMason

        Yes! And the I went away for a few days, so not able to report :-)

        Per your suggestions, I decided to prioritze the night-before activity with getting the table ready. So, I didn't get through as much cooking on Friday as I would have liked. In the end, it was easier to do a little extra cooking with my 3-year-old running around than it was to try and set the table on Saturday morning (I closed the baby gate to the dining room after everything was set up on Fri night).

        I did prepare the filling for the peppers and stuff them the day before. They kept just fine in the fridge and were delicious, though I think I put in too much filling - the recipe said it made 8 peppers, but I ended up with close to 20 to use up the filling. They were a little challenging to scoop off of the baking pan and transfer to a serving dish. Next time I will bake them in something pretty so I don't have to move them! I used this recipe:

        I made the tortilla first thing Saturday morning, let it cool then moved it to the fridge. It warmed up in the oven while the shrimp were cooking there as well. Both recipes were from Cook's Illustrated. Oh, and the pepper sauce you suggested was great!

        The paella was an amalgam of two recipes from Bon Appetit and the method that my Argentinean friend taught me, so no real recipe there. I used chicken legs, chorizo, and linguica, and scallops. I had some lobster broth in my freezer so that went in there too, with Arborio rice.

        The flan came out well, too, although there was a tense moment when I couldn't get it out of the pan. I'd used a ring mold, which was nonstick. I think that caused a problem when I poured the caramelized sugar into the mold - it slipped down from the sides into the bottom of the pan. The layer of caramel was too thick and didn't dissolve properly in the cooked custard. One of the guests rescued it by wiggling a rubber scraper around the sides until the flan came loose. It looked a little flap on top, but it tasted great!

        The only real problem was that we had too much food...about 5 guests didn't make it. Very little of the flan got eaten. So I packed up most of the leftoveres and sent them home with mom-to-be, so she didn't have to cook for a few days!

        Thanks again for your suggestions!

        1. re: gimlis1mum

          Congrats, it sounds like it was a great party. Impressive you pulled all that off with a little one underfoot! And thanks for sharing the recipe links. Glad the mojo worked out for you.